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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Lynch Wants More Citizen Involvement in Planning Process

George Wenschhof

Jack Lynch
Jack Lynch, who is a Democratic candidate for alderman in The City of Frederick election, is passionate about wanting to see more citizen involvement in the planning process.

He is concerned the city is on the cusp of growing out in a way that will destroy the identity of Frederick.

Lynch would like to engage residents in planning as he believes everything revolves around planning.  He would like to see the city use form-based zoning and codes that are focused on the form of buildings rather than land use.

He told me "It's not what uses or regulations determine our buildings, it's about whether it looks and feels good to people, if they want to walk around there and like it."

Jack added he sees the Carroll Creek development as being a destructive swath of concrete through historic downtown. He feels it has not returned a high enough return for the taxpayer money spent developing the site.

Lynch is also troubled private investment money is going to the north end of Frederick and not other parts of the city and does not see an overall plan for how the city will grow.

He believes citizens often wait until a public notice is posted before they state their opinion and feels it is often too late at this point.

Strengthening Neighborhood Advisory Councils (NACs) and allowing them to provide even more input into the planning process, is something Jack will support if elected alderman.

Bringing citizens together, perhaps by developing small area plans from all sections across the city to provide a vision of what the city could do, is something he would encourage.

He was especially concerned when he felt residents were not listened to in recent votes by the city board of aldermen when they approved a change in zoning for a proposed Wal-Mart and voted to annex the 97 acre Caidlyn property into the city. 

Mr. Lynch testified against both requests and was disappointed the golden mile small area plan and comprehensive plan were not followed.

Also, receiving thumbs down from Lynch is the proposed downtown hotel/conference center. He said the recent consultant report confirmed what he had been saying all along and that is "the economics did not work."

Another area Jack would like the city to focus on is building a more sustainable community and to develop a green infrastructure plan.  He would like to see N. Market Street become an example of green infrastructure where the curbs, sidewalks, etc. were reengineered and rebuilt to allow more water to be absorbed naturally.

Extending Baker Park eastward to be included in the East Frederick Rising plans is another way the city should move forward.

When the topic of waste disposal came up, Lynch said he would like to see the city require business recycling and for the city to provide weekly recycling pick up. He also would move to reinstate the city bulk trash pick-ups that were discontinued by the current mayor and board.

Furthermore, Jack would like to see the city opt-out of Frederick County government plans to build an incinerator.

Jack Lynch is one of eight Democratic and seven Republican candidates running for the five member city board of aldermen.  The primary election will be held on September 10.

Stay Tuned.
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